I left for the American Library Conference on June 21 and was in California until June 28. Although I have attended many many ALA conferences, this was the first time I attended as both a librarian and a writer. And the word of the day is Hectic!
I usually run from class to class. This time I missed a few offerings I would have liked to attend since I was signing books at a book store. On Saturday I signed at Mysteries to Die for in Thousand Oaks. On Sunday we drove to Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. Both of these shops are niche shops, catering to a specific clientele. Mysteries, obviously, but the Mysterious Galaxy also includes Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy.
The Following week I visited Book Carnival in Orange County. No talk this time, but I signed stock. And since I was invited to return next year when my new book comes out, I hope to speak there in the future. This shop specialized in Romantic Suspense as well as Mysteries.
From a librarian’s point of view, a clear indication of how these genres can overlap. From a writer’s perspective, a reminder of how much bookstores like these do to sell one’s books. They all feel under pressure, from the Big Box book stores and from Amazon. I really enjoyed speaking to the faithful who came to hear me and hope to be invited to do more.
On the closing day of the conference, I signed at the Macmillan booth. Since a lot of these people were fellow librarians, I know it took longer than it should have. I talked to everyone! By and large, A Simple Murder has garnered a lot of positive attention. I feel both lucky to have this experience and humbled by it.